Philosophy Of Pasta

In the never ending journey on learning the deep culinary history of Italian food and cooking, one perception we have in North America is Italians eat a lot of pasta. Thus adding to the another erroneous - if not stereotypical - perception that Italians are over weight. Statistics in Europe consistently show that Italians are not just on average healthier that most nations (thanks to the 'Mediterranean' diet often tagged as the healthiest in the world) but are also among the lightest on the continent.

This has something to do with how Italians manage their diet which they have, as we all know, down to an art and science.

The popularity of pasta shouldn't be confused by how it's consumed.

For example, there's a marked difference on how we eat it.

In Italy, pasta is a primo and as such, they eat a small portion of it as a precursor to other parts of the meal (be it soups, meat/fish, whatever). It is rarely eaten for its own sake and as part of its own meal.

It's a philosophical approach to pasta rooted in practicality. 

Back in 2006, a Canadian Olympic athlete preparing for Torino was discussing her diet. What she said surprised and reinforced what I mentioned above.

Her explanation was a typical North American concern that Italian cuisine was a 'carb based diet' and therefore she was readying herself to bring food to Torino. How funny is that? Very few nations on the planet have the culinary heritage of Italy and a Canadian was worried about food. The way her comment came off was that Italian cuisine was all pasta based.

Which was ridiculous and ignorant on her part.

Nothing could be further from the truth. She conflated with how we eat it with the way they approach food which is far more sophisticated than we care to admit or realize.

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